Lodging choices in Napa Valley run from extravagant, five-star resorts to budget motels, but for that certain brand of DogTrekker who prefers to rough it a bit, there’s another alternative: camping. Whether sleeping in a tent, an RV or a rustic shelter, you’ll enjoy the valley from a unique perspective—and have money left over for a splurge. Here are three places to check out.
• Bothe-Napa Valley State Park: Ideally located between St. Helena and Calistoga on Highway 29/128, this park operated by the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District welcomes visitors with dogs in 30 tent/RV spaces as well as a few yurts (circular tents with cots, BYO bedding), but not in cabins. Pay showers and a swimming pool are available. No dogs are allowed on trails, but leashed pets can be walked on park roads. Reservations can be hard to come by during the May-September high season, but you can stake your claim up to seven months in advance through ReserveCalifornia.com.
• Skyline Wilderness Park: This 850-acre wilderness area high in the hills at the southeast corner of Napa is managed by a non-profit organization formed to protect the area. Tent camping, RV camping and horse camping are offered, but don’t try to get reservations during the annual Bottle Rock concert event; they’re already sold out! Please note: dogs are not allowed on any of the trails in Skyline Wilderness Park.
• Putah Canyon Campground: Granted, Lake Berryessa isn’t exactly in the Napa Valley. But it’s not far, and the mountainous route that takes you there from either direction is dramatic. This campground, formerly known as Chaparral Cove and Putah Creek Campground, is about 45 minutes from downtown Napa or the Yolo County town of Winters. Its 100 campsites are strung out along the lake’s west shore, where swimming, boating and fishing are the main activities. Shared water spigots are provided, but not showers or flush toilets.
Photo Credit: @cswope18